Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care

The importance of building student confidence at Loreto Normanhurst

Girls’ confidence tends to fall below boys’ from about the age of nine, remaining that way until much older in life. But exciting Australian based research has found one group defying the trend – girls at single sex schools. A recent study involving over 10000 students found no differences in self-confidence between girls and boys in gender-segregated high schools. Terry Fitzsimmons from the Australian Institute for Business and Economics Centre for Gender Equality in the Workplace at the University of Queensland said: “the study is important because it shows the confidence gap is not innate; it doesn’t have to be this way”. Prior studies in mixed-sex environments have shown the confidence gap begins early. One literature review quoted in the study found that girls’ confidence begins to fall below boys’ at age nine, and remained lower until they turned 80. What this study shows, really importantly, is that there is an environment in which whatever is driving that (difference in) confidence between adolescent boys and girls is not happening. Dr Fitzsimmons’ study was commissioned by the Australian Gender Equality Council, which represents several women’s industry groups as well as the Alliance of Girls Schools Australasia. Dr Fitzsimmons also remarked “that one of the key factors protecting the self-confidence of girls at single-sex schools was likely to be watching other girls and women in leadership positions”. You can access the full study by clicking here.

 What does this mean for your daughter at Loreto Normanhurst? Firstly, that she is in the right place with the right peers, teachers and school leaders. I am not saying for a moment that she is in a utopia, far from it. But, she is rather in an environment where she can be who she is, challenged to give everything a go and learning within a pastoral care framework that builds her confidence and puts in front of her authentic opportunities to build self-efficacy, leadership skills and potential. As we move towards the end of the term, I encourage parents to talk to their daughter’s about how they build their confidence and maximise all the opportunities on offer at Loreto Normanhurst.


SchoolTV is a digital resource for parents to assist in navigating your way through the challenges of modern-day parenting. Every month, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg introduces a new topic and interviews specialists  to offer their advice. Information is presented in bite-size pieces that you can watch and read anywhere at any time on any device.  Click the image SchoolTV image to access the website. Please bookmark for easy access in the future.


Conversations this week:

Year 12 Tutor Conversations
Year 11 Loreto Day Wrap Up Conversation with Mrs Parker
Year 10 Subject Selection Conversation with Ms Albert
Year 9 FNQE Preparations Conversation with Mr Merchant
Year 8 Healthy Minds Conversation with Advisors
Year 7 Touching Base Conversations with Heads of House

Upcoming School Events

Tuesday 23 July Years 10, 11, 12 – Paul Dillon Presentations
Friday 26 July, 6pm – 10pm Year 10 Dinner Dance


Please feel free to contact me via email if you have any questions.


Mr Justin Madigan

Dean of Pastoral Care